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BUILDING CODES

& ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
ILLINOIS
Updated January 11, 2010
ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Consumers save money by reducing utility bills,
minimizing the negative impacts of fluctuations in
energy supply and cost, and by conserving available
energy resources. Retail and office buildings con-
structed to meet the requirements of the IECC can
be over 30 percent more energy efficient than
typical buildings not constructed to meet national
model energy standards.

Monetary savings derived from codes increase a

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uildings account for roughly 40 percent of the consumer's purchasing power, and help expand the
total energy use in the United States and 70 state’s economy by keeping local dollars in Illinois.
percent of our electricity use, representing a
significant opportunity for energy savings. Energy effi- BUILDING INDUSTRY BENEFITS
ciency—through the adoption and enforcement of
strong building energy codes—is the quickest, cheap- The national model code, the 2009 IECC, offers
est and cleanest way to reduce energy consumption and flexibility to Illinois builders and design profession-
achieve a sustainable and prosperous future. For the als, allowing them to optimize the cost-
state of Illinois, the next step should be the adoption of effectiveness of energy efficient features in their
the U.S. model energy codes—the 2009 International building products, and to satisfy a variety of con-
Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) and ASH- sumer preferences.
RAE Standard 90.1-2007.
The 2009 IECC also simplifies guidelines for build-
In February 2009, the American Recovery and Rein- ers, providing a uniform code across the state with
vestment Act (Recovery Act) – the federal stimulus multiple options for compliance.
legislation appropriating funds for a variety of state
Uniformity throughout Illinois will enable local ju-
initiatives – allocated $3.1 billion for the U.S. Depart-
risdictions to pool limited resources and combine
ment of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) to assist
personnel to form county-wide, regional, and state-
states with building energy efficiency efforts. As one
wide enforcement and educational programs.
of the requirements to receive this funding, Gov. Pat
Quinn certified to DOE1 that Illinois would implement UTILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
energy standards of equal or greater stringency than the
latest national model codes—the 2009 edition of the Energy codes improve the energy efficiency per-
IECC and Standard 90.1-2007. formance of new buildings and reduce demand on
power generators, therefore improving the air qual-
Having already received $50.7 million2 in SEP funds, ity of local communities throughout Illinois.
Illinois is eligible to receive $101.3 million in total
grants upon demonstration of the successful implemen- Electricity use is a leading generator of air pollution.
tation of its energy plans submitted to DOE. It is in Rising power demand increases emissions of sul-
Illinois’s best economic interest to adopt the 2009 fur dioxide, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide. En-
IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide and begin ergy codes are a proven, cost-effective means for
enjoying the benefits of an efficient building sector. addressing these and other environmental impacts.
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A MODEL STATE ENERGY CODE FOR ILLINOIS

The built environment of the Chicago metropolitan area will greatly impact future state energy policy (Credit—J. Crocker)

A
s of December 2009, Illinois does not have a only a small fraction of those reserves are located at
mandatory statewide residential energy producing mines. Illinois does not rank among the na-
code.3 Its commercial code, based on the 2006 tion’s top coal producers. The state’s residential sector
IECC referencing Standard 90.1-2004, became effec- is highly dependent on natural gas, as more than four-
tive in October 2007. Legislation approved in August fifths of Illinois households rely on it as their primary
2009 (HB 3987) has directed the Illinois Capital De- home heating fuel. With coal and nuclear power ac-
velopment Board (CDB) to adopt statewide the 2009 counting for over 95 percent of in-state electricity gen-
IECC for residential buildings and privately funded eration, however, Illinois is a leading net exporter of
commercial buildings and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for electricity to other states.8 Reducing local demand for
publicly funded commercial buildings.4 Implementa- electricity and natural gas would free up more of the
tion is expected some time in early 2010. state’s energy resources for export, decrease costs
for consumers, and increase profits for businesses.
The 2009 IECC improves substantially upon the
state’s codes and makes it simpler to provide Illinois AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE
households and businesses lower utility costs, in-
creased comfort, and better economic opportunity.5 A Energy prices are projected to rise sharply over the
limited DOE analysis of the changes from states’ cur- next decade. By using energy codes to increase the
rent residential codes to the 2009 IECC resulted in significant potential energy supply improved build-
estimated energy savings of 5-20 percent in most ing energy efficiency produces, Illinois can enhance
states for an average new house at recent fuel prices.6 its energy security by reducing energy demand within
Another DOE analysis of the changes from the state's its borders. Wise management of statewide energy
current commercial code to Standard 90.1-2007 esti- policy should include seizing the low-hanging fruit
mates energy savings of about 4-6 percent.7 that is the energy savings improved building energy
codes offer. Among the opportunities:
When states regularly update and enforce their energy
codes (in coordination with the three-year model code If Illinois began implementing the 2009 IECC and
update cycles, as HB 3987 directs), they ensure the Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011, businesses
consistency and continued enhancement of the benefits and homeowners would save an estimated $154
of model building practice. By maintaining this com- million annually by 2020 and an estimated $307
mitment, Illinois can demonstrate leadership on en- million annually by 2030 in energy costs (assuming
ergy efficiency issues by meeting national standards. 2006 energy prices).

STATE ENERGY SUPPLIES Additionally, implementing the latest model codes
would help avoid about 38 trillion Btu of primary
Although the state’s estimated recoverable coal re- annual energy use by 2030 and annual emissions of
serves represent more than one-tenth of the U.S. total, more than 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030.
** NOTES ** For more information, please visit www.bcap-ocean.org.
1 6
US DOE (http://www.energy.gov/media/4251QuinnIllinois.pdf) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/
2
US DOE (http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=225) IECC2009_Residential_Nationwide_Analysis.pdf)
3 7
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/66) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/
4
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/510) commercial/Commercial_Illinois.pdf)
5 8
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/330) US EIA (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=IL)

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Washington, DC 20036
www.bcap-ocean.org